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A sentimental sequel to The Pigman that begins badly by belaboring the meaning of the Pigman experience and ends badly in an orgy of predictable, corny clichÉs (heretofore, Zindel's clichÉs have not been corny), but does have its tender moments and whirlwind momentum. Writing once more in alternate chapters, 10th-graders John and Lorraine tell how they are compelled to pass the Pigman's house; how they find another suspicious old man squatting there and decide to redeem themselves by doing good for him (Lorraine believes he might be Mr. Pignati reincarnated); how the apparent bum turns out to be a Colonel internationally known for his subway designs but now on the lam from the IRS; how the kids introduce him to 60-year-old Dolly, a chipper, flashily dressed assistant dietician improbably demoted to high-school cafeteria sweeper; and how the old man marries Dolly on his hospital deathbed after a wild gambling spree in Atlantic City. ""We, the undersigned kids, are scared that you're going to blame us for still another death,"" write John and Lorraine in their introduction--but the Colonel was dying of an intestinal problem before they met, and that sort of come-on just seems shoddy the second time around. Zindel can still keep you breathlessly in tow as his cast careens through a rainy Staten Island in the Colonel's convertible, top down, umbrella up--and, later, through the ""special restaurant"" (casino) where John succumbs to gambling fever and blows the Colonel's winnings. But with the Colonel, Zindel can only simulate the feeling he showed for old Mr. Pignati; and despite their conclusion that the Pigman's legacy is ""love,"" the incipient romance between John and Lorraine also seems tacked on, less moving than their playing house at Pignati's. Since Zindel had to go and write this, The Pigman's fans will have to read it; but ultimately it diminishes The Pigman's legacy.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1980
Publisher: Harper & Row